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Amazon Kindle DX e-book review

The large 9.7 "E-Ink screen of the Amazon Kindle DX reader makes reading books more comfortable than reading on six" e-readers. This is especially noticeable when opening PDF files on the device. This display fits much more information even with an enlarged font.

Equipment

According to the good old tradition, the scope of delivery is meager:

- Electronic book

- Power adapter

- USB 2.0 cable

- User's manual

There is no cover! It's a pity. For that kind of money, they could have included it in the kit.

Appearance

In short, the Kindle DX looks great! All details, controls are in their places, everything is balanced and beautiful. Most of the front side of the device is occupied by the screen. But there is also enough space for the hands: the fields around the display are wide and it is convenient to hold the device in hands. True, they quickly get tired of the heavy weight of the device (535 g).

The front of the reader is made of matte plastic. It seems to be cheap material, but of high quality. It does not slip in the hands, does not scratch, it can be easily cleaned. The battery cover is made of metal and it almost completely occupies the back of the device.

The build of the Kindle DX is top notch. All elements of the case are tightly fitted to each other, the back cover does not bend, there are no creaks or backlashes.

The reader is available in two colors: dark gray and white.

- Screen

The 9.7-inch E-Ink screen is the main strength of the Kindle DX. This size allows you to display a large amount of information, and there is no need for frequent scrolling. Reading remains comfortable even with the increased font size, which will especially delight people with poor eyesight.

Display resolution - 824x1200 pixels. 16 shades of gray. This is more than enough for high-quality graphics display.

"Remains" (artifacts) from the text of the previous page are practically invisible, in contrast to graphics.

The device is equipped with a gyro sensor so that the screen orientation automatically changes depending on the position of the device itself. This option can be easily disabled in the settings.

The only drawback is that the background of the screen is not white, but light gray. True, this does not cause any discomfort during reading, since the contrast of the letters is quite high.

- Controls and external ports

A QWERTY keyboard is located on the front side under the screen. The buttons feel like rubber. It is difficult to call it full, since there are many shortcomings in it. First, the size of the buttons is too small. Secondly, the top row of the keyboard is alphanumeric. Thirdly, there is no Russian layout. The question arises: do you need a keyboard at all? All its advantages are manifested in the system of notes. But more on that later.

To the right of the screen are the reader control buttons and a joystick. The topmost button - "Home" - is responsible for returning to the start page. Below there are two scrolling keys - "Forward" and "Back", the first being larger than the other, which is very convenient. Alas, these buttons are not duplicated on the left side of the device. The last block of keys is the Menu button, the Back button, which returns to the previous screen, and a four-way joystick, which can also be pressed.

The joystick is worth talking about separately, as it plays a major role in controlling the Kindle DX.

The joystick has the following functions:

- pressing - opening the book;

- up / down - moving through the lists of books, through the menu;

- to the right - call the properties of books, which also lists all kinds of actions with it;

- to the left - the menu for deleting the book opens. When deleting, the system will require confirmation of the action.

The joystick and all the keys are well felt tactilely, the moment of pressing is clear, with a quiet click.

At the top there is a 3.5mm headphone jack and a slider for locking / disabling the device.

At the bottom there is a microUSB port for synchronizing with a PC or connecting a charger, and two stereo speakers in the corners.

On the right side there is a swing key, which is responsible for adjusting the volume.

Specifications

The device has built-in 4GB of memory, 3.3GB of which is available to the user. This should be sufficient for everyday use. And if not enough - if you please! The reader does not support removable memory cards.

The Kindle DX has a 3G wireless module on board. The 3G network, however, works only with the American operator Sprint 3G.

Interface

The start page is rather sparse - just a list of books downloaded to the device, which looks like the content in paper books. The list can be sorted by title, by author, by collection.

The book opens, as mentioned above, by pressing the joystick.

In an open book, additional information is displayed above and below the text. The top status bar contains the title of the book, the status of the wireless module and the battery charge indicator. The bottom line contains the read indicator, the number of pages in the book and locations - the exact place of reading.

By pressing the "Menu" button, oddly enough, the menu for working with the page is called up.

I'll tell you a little more about it.

Go to. Selecting this item opens the following window:

From here, you can go to the cover, the content of the book, to its beginning, or enter the page number to go to it. By the way, to enter the page number from the keyboard, you must hold down the ALT key.

Search This Book. Regular search. Looking smartly. Given the lack of support for the Cyrillic alphabet, the search will not work in Russian-language texts.

Add as Bookmark. Bookmark creation. It is displayed as a folded corner on the page.

Add a Notes or Highlight. Create a note or highlight a piece of text.

View My Notes or Highlight... View notes, bookmarks, and highlighted text fragments.

The menu is rather modest. Even the text setting item was taken from it and moved to the "Aa" key on the keyboard.

By the way, it is impossible to change the typeface in the text settings. But its dimensions can be changed in a wide range - 8 sizes.

In the text settings menu, you can also change:

Words per line... Change the number of words per line. It's more like adjusting the margin size though. By setting the value fewest on the screen, we get a narrow column of text.

Text-to-Speech. Scoring the text with a voice. The implementation of this function is useless and is unlikely to change in the near future. Cyrillic is not supported.

Screen Rotation. Change screen orientation. Selecting the Auto item turns on the automatic orientation change depending on the position of the device in space. Orientation can also be set manually.

Given the screen size of the Kindle DX, it would be logical to use the horizontal (landscape) orientation. But there are many pitfalls here. First, the text in this orientation stretches to the full width of the screen, rather than splitting into two columns. It becomes inconvenient to read such long lines. Secondly, there are no additional scroll keys for landscape mode. Turning through the pages with those that are, to put it mildly, is inconvenient.

The main supported formats of the reader: AZW, MOBI, PRC. Everything that was written above about working with text refers specifically to books saved in these formats. All other formats will have to be converted. TXT and PDF are also natively supported. I'll tell you more about working with the latter.

PDF

The reader works a little slower with these files: it takes about 5 seconds to open a book, turning pages takes about 2 seconds, and it will take 2 - 3 seconds to change the screen orientation. Despite this, the books are displayed correctly without any significant visible defects.

PDF is displayed only page by page. For some reason, the reader has disgust for book spreads. The displayed page has its margins cut off and is scaled to fit the screen. If the document is typeset in A4 format, then the font will turn out to be small and it will not be very comfortable to read such text.In landscape mode, scaling occurs horizontally; vertically, the page is cropped.

I was disappointed by the number of possible operations with the text: adding bookmarks, searching for a word and going to the page. There is no separate scaling of text (reflow), there is no text-to-speech function. It is possible to change the scale of the entire page as a whole, while horizontal and vertical scroll bars appear. You can also change the orientation from portrait to landscape and vice versa.

Loading books

After connecting the device to the computer using USB, a new logical disk appears in the system. This is where all the necessary files are dropped.

The Kindle DX understands subfolders, so you can group files as you see fit. But in the device itself, the downloaded files will still be displayed in the form of a list.

Mp3 player

Like the vast majority of modern readers, the Kindle DX has the ability to listen to music. But here it is implemented so uselessly that I can hardly comment on it.

The player is launched via Menu - Experimental - Play Mp3. The first file in the Music folder starts playing immediately. The Stop / Play function is performed by a space bar on the keyboard, the next track is started with the F button. That's it!

Music can be listened to either through headphones or through the built-in speakers.

I think that such a simple implementation of the player is associated with a small amount of built-in memory, and music playback is a secondary task for the "reader".

Viewing Photos

Do you think it can't be worse than the player? You are greatly mistaken!

You can view the photos only in strict accordance with the following plan: send the file to a special E-Mail (only for registered users) - there the file is converted, and not for free - then they “upload” it back to your reader via a wireless network.

However, all this does not matter, since the 3G wireless network, as mentioned above, works only with the American operator Sprint 3G.

Battery life

The manufacturer claims that the reader can work for 4 days with the wireless module on and 2 weeks off. Personally, I can’t say anything about the battery life, since I didn’t use this device for a long time.

Summary

The only good thing about the Kindle DX is its large screen. Everything else is negative. Support for the PDF format is implemented at the lowest level, namely, such a display diagonal is suitable for it. The minimal set of options for customizing the text, the lack of support for such a widespread format as DOC, the high price make this device, to put it mildly, uncompetitive. The only way out of this situation is a new firmware version, where all the shortcomings are fixed. In the meantime, add some money and buy an iPad.